University of Maryland Department of Mechanical Engineering
Newsletter | Fall 2018
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Fall 2018 Newsletter

The Department of Mechanical Engineering wishes to thank all of our faculty, alumni, students and peers who have supported the education and cutting-edge research that takes place here in College Park. This issue highlights recent alumni accomplishments, research and departmental news. We are thankful for your continued support of the Department and hope you take the time to visit with us if you are ever in the area.

Alumni Focus


Alumnus to Develop Solar-Powered Desalination Module
Bahman Abbasi ('10, Ph.D.), an assistant professor at Oregon State University, is developing a desalination module that is mobile and powered by the sun. Abbasi recently won a $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to create an end-to-end system that can produce potable water from a highly concentrated brine.

Alumna Wins Leading Women Award
Cara Martin ('06, B.S.; '07, M.S.) was one of the "Leading Women" recognized by The Daily Record for her career accomplishments. Martin serves as Chief Operating Officer for Optimized Thermal Systems, focusing on business development and growth, customer outreach, and project management. 

Sharma’s Research Group Explores Physical Phenomena Across Multiple Disciplines
Alumnus Pradeep Sharma ('00, Ph.D.) is leading a research group at the University of Houston that employs theoretical and computational approaches to explore physical phenomena across a wide range of disciplines—from materials science to biology. 


Research Highlights

Katrina Groth, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, is assessing risk and reliability for hydrogen systems in a number of areas, including storage, delivery, and distribution. 

Assessing Risk and Reliability for Hydrogen Systems
Hydrogen fuel cells produce zero-emissions, which is a strong incentive for using them in transportation and portable power applications. Katrina Groth, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, is assessing risk and reliability for hydrogen systems in a number of areas, including storage, delivery, and distribution. Groth, who is also a core faculty member of the Center for Risk and Reliability, is advancing hydrogen codes and standards, as well as models and data to enhance a larger understanding of hydrogen safety.

AHX-PI Lab Develops Novel Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger
Under the direction of Minta Martin Professor Michael Ohadi and Research Associate Farah Singer, the Advanced Heat Exchangers and Process Intensification (AHX-PI) Laboratory has successfully developed a novel Polymer Composite Heat Exchanger. This heat exchanger is enabled by a Novel Additive Manufacturing technique to yield superior thermal performance at reduced pressure drops and with substantial weight reduction when compared to state of the art corresponding heat exchangers. The effective thermal conductivity of this polymer heat exchanger is ~115 W/(m-K), which is record high.

Findings Published on Ion Adsorption Energetics
A team of graduate students led by Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Siddhartha Das has published findings pinpointing the principles dictating ion adsorption at the air-water interface in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The lead author of the paper is Professor Das’ Ph.D. student Yanbin Wang. Other students from Das’ group involved in this work are Shayandev Sinha (currently a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University), Mr. Parth Rakesh Desai, and Mr. Haoyuan Jing.

Desai and Kaushik Receive STLE Fellowship 
Graduate students Parth Rakesh Desai and Lovlesh Kaushik have been awarded the 2018 Society of Tribologists and Engineers (STLE) Fellowship for the Philadelphia section. Students selected for this fellowship are working in the broad area of tribology and lubrication in universities around the Philadelphia region.

Faculty News 

Kim to Direct Undergraduate Studies, Pertmer to Co-Direct 
Keystone Professor Jungho Kim will serve a three-year term as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Keystone Professor Gary Pertmer will join him as the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies over this period. As co-director, Professor Pertmer will be responsible for all of the off-campus programs (Frostburg, Southern Maryland, and Shady Grove).

Dasgupta Named Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Chair for Academic Affairs
Jeong H. Kim Professor Abhijit Dasgupta will serve as the next Director of Graduate Studies and the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs. His three-year term will be effective immediately. Professor Dasgupta joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1988. 

Kiger Named Clark School Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs
Professor Ken Kiger recently assumed a new role as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs in the Clark School. Dr. Kiger brings a career focused on scholarship and excellence in undergraduate education to this position. He was a founding member of the Keystone program that started in 2006. 

Bruck Named Clark School Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs
Professor Hugh Bruck was recently named Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the Clark School. Dr. Bruck brings exceptional experience to his new role. During his eight years as Director of Graduate Studies and six years as Associate Chair for Academic Affairs in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the undergraduate enrollment increased by nearly 200 percent and enrollment in the Master of Engineering programs increased by 300 percent.

Design Day, Save the Date: December 4 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Capstone Design Enhancement Fund
"I graduated in the Class of 2011 and really enjoyed every year here," said Eric Matthew Glazer. "I want to give back to help future students have all of the wonderful experiences that I was able to have." To contribute to this fund today, click here. 

We invite mechanical, reliability and nuclear engineering alumni every semester to serve as judges for Design Day. Please email us if you're interested in volunteering in the future. 

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